tv Charlie Rose WHUT December 7, 2011 11:00pm-12:00am EST
>> charlie: welcome to our program. we begin this evening with a political updateith tthew dowd with abc news and bloomberg news. >> to me we're at one of those pivotal points that happens in our 75-80 years in the history of our country. if you think about where we are today, 75 to 80 years ago we were in the depression into world r ii. before that we were in the civil war and moving from an agrarian society to a basic industrial society. 80 years before that, we were just establishing the first real dacdemocracy that modernrea in th revolutionary war and we're in changing economy. we're at that time. we're also at a time where people have lost faith in all the major institutions simuaneously. they lost faith in the media, they don't get all the answers.
people in the middle don'tnow where to turn. they've lost faith in their governmental institutions. they don't understd things how katra could happen and why congress get it in order. they lost faith in corporation disorder. it use to be corporations were paternalistic. >> charlie: we end with clarissa ward based i in kabal d bring back reports. >> charlie: what story do they want to tell. >> it's amazing. the intensity of their appetite to be able to speak their mind. i never seen anything like it. obviously the primary objective right now is for the removal of presidenti regime. but more than that, this is really about people wanting to be able to speak without being afraid. anit sounds like such a simple thin here ithing here in the u.e it for granted. but the syrian people who i met
after 40 years of the outside rule, there's this deeply ingrained fe and there's an extraordinar appetitement one young man who i spoke to literally said i just wanting thwant, themay thing i want is y mine without being afraid. >> charlie: matthew dowd on politics and clarissa rd on syria when we continue.
newt gingrich's surge in the poll has changed the complexion of the republican primary contest within month before the caucus, gingrich rides a wave of momentum some believe can carry him to the nomination. skeptics doubt he has adequate funding and organization to sustain a protractive battle with mitt mitt romney, there are questions about his viability as an opponent against obama. matthew dowd a strategist for george b. bush currently an analt for bloomberg news. i'm pleased to have him back at this table. welcome. >> great to be here, charlie. explain this to me because you are one of those who said before cane cain watch out. >> this has been a series of primaries so four without votes being held so far is t anti-romney coalition that's moved around. first it was michele bachmann, then it was rick perry, bill flounder and herman cain and he
floundered. for me watching the debates and gingrich's performance, he took on obama in a much stronger way than anybodylse did. he stood up. he felt smarter at the table than most other people. and so as that anti-romney sort of cloud moved, it settled on newt gingrich and i think the romneyolks are really nervous about it. thiss not going to go away andate doesn't have an expiration date like the oers did. >> charlie: there are two things about it. one they have the experience with the republican parties. he knows republicans, peace been talking to them for a number of years. on the other hand people who know him best have expressed some great doubt about his leadership abilities. coburn, for example. >> he's got, he's got more baggage than macy's luggage department as most people have said. part of the problem has always been his personality. people think he can say something off the cuff. he gets angry. i think some of that has not seesened. i've seen him in iowa and you
have conversations with him now and i had conversations with him five or six years ago he seems settled downnd notas angry or on edge as he used to be. that is something i think that is still questionable. can hesustain this? t can he sustain a race without explong in the midst of it and i think that's the open question. >> charlie: explosion wou be simply saying something that was so outrageous it wld bring him down. because the people who have been brought down have been brought down beuse of failures within their own, on the one hand with cain no problem with perry with debate problem. >> ll it's interesting to me that if you took likean xy axis on this racend one side of the x is his competency, ability to see the pepper in th person thee oval office and authenticity. people looking for someone who is authentic, has a deep distinct of conservative values
but also is competent. michele bachmann, rick perry and herman cain all looked authentic but then dropped on the exeps competence side. newt gingrich is seen as more competent than anybody else. as the debates go on and next debates people can see him as comanlecommander in chief. >> charlie: at the authentic. >> right now people view him in the perception he's authentic. i do believe he has a core set of principles whether it's economic conservativism. he has changed on a few issues but i think people get a sense much different than romney. they get a sense he has a core set of beliefs. he's not going to just shift in the winds, in the political winds. he's not going to say something to get elected to office. i think he retains that. that's a vulnerability if exposed could hurt him. athis point in the process, interestingly enough the calendar is huge, is a huge advantage for him. >> charlie: so he does well now and he may do well in new hampshire, he's ading in south
carolina and you're off to the races. >> and the calendar heading into the christmas holidays right now. because right now you only have about a week or eight ds left of real conversation. >> charlie: just sling down. >> after that expires, people go and say i don't really want to he negative uff i want to go away. then they show back up on january 2nd and the next day is the iowa caucus which he now is considerably ahead. i think he does win the iowa caucus. does reasonably well in new hampshire then he wins south carolina and then he wins florida. in january he wins three of the first four. >> charlie: is it over then if that happens. >> if that happens, i think the only thing at that point in time that can slow him down is he blows up, there's some discovery of some new information of decisions heade on finances in the last ten years on making money and all that sort of stuff. >> charlie: that's probably the biggest vulnerability. some financial stuff. >> i think t biggest vulnerability is not all the old stuff everybody knows it's something new that sort exposes him as pa of the
washington corrupt crowd or something like that. but that calendar, that's why i don't think organizational matter as much in this thing. romney folks i think are fooling themselves. if that happens they're here for the long hall. >hall -- long haul, itbecomes r mitt romneto win at that point. >> charlie: is romney bleeding >> he's bleeding and you get a palpable sense of the people around hem. much different than a month ago when you talked about cain or perry or michele bachmann. they know they're in a vulnerable position right now. if this goes on much longer and newt continues to build, it's going to b hard for mit romney to win the nomination. the other thing quhawrl, charlif what i said happens and some of that is going to happen i think. you have michele bachmann voters rick perry voters. 20% of the people.
three candidates are out of the race by the end of january. that 20% of the vote not going to mitt romney. that 20% of the vote most of it is going to gingrich. if that happens then instead of leading by 30 to 20, he's now leading by 48. >> charlie: when do they start dropping out after iowa or new hampshire. >> michele bachmann doesn't finish in the first three she may still she's on but she's gone. if rick doesn't finish in the first three he's gone if rick perry doesn't finish in the first three -- for all intents and purposes gingrich mall and mitt romney. >> crlie: which is howit looks. >> yes, everybody else is probably gone. and that hurts mitt romney. mittomney's campaign was built on the premise that was going to be a large multicandidate field for a while where 25, 26, 27% of the vote could win a state. he's no longer in that position. >> charlie: hundreman is not -- huntsman is notoing to drop out. >> nothg that happens in iowa will affect him. i think huntsman on his last
g. he's campaigned every day. he's still fourth or five in new hampshire. >> charlie: some arguments are being made he's most conservative of the republican candidates more conservative than gingrich and romney. that's discovered about him, his authenticity, his attractiveness, his ability to command the stage which he hasn't really done might come through. >> yes. but he's got two big disadvantages which is why h hasn't sold. i have a lot of respect for him. i think he's very well spoken. he's got a lot of ideas. two problems he has. he was the president, president obama who republicans hate, he was his ambassador to china. his leaving becausen't done in sort of fit of rage or anything like that, it was sort of nice. >> charlie: he left out of ambition. >> he leftotally out ofproblem a voting block that wants passion, that wants somebody that's engaged wants his energy and he's too cool. he's the wrong temperature for this primary. >> charlie: and gingrich is just right. >> i think bin rich -- >>harlie: if they want
passion. >> he's just right if they want passion. and that's why people flocked to rickerry because of his anti-washington. hendedp being competent through a number of debates. >> charlie: the idea of gingrich as establishment. speaker of the house of house of representatives doesn't cut agnst him among the conservaves with the tea party people. >> interestingly a lot of voters because he left so long ago and he doesn't have a lot of relationship. if you talk what's left of the establishment of the republican party which in my view is this primary process has told us there's no longer an establishment or a structure that can coalesce. there's no longer a republican structure. most republicansn the current stature don't like newt neefs he's not predictable. he speaks his own mind. they're not frieny to newt even he was the speaker of the
house including members of the house who were with him at the time. i think voters think he's far enough removed from that that he'soing to be okay. >> charlie: would you count among those people like john boehner who he was a deputy to. >> it's interesting you haven't heard a single word speaker boehner has said the entire last weeks when newt as risen. if annuity th newt the nominee,a will suppor --boehner will supp. i think there's a lot of baggage and stuff outthere. >> charlie: even though he's a better debater and even though the debates can often dermine the election, ask al gore. you were there. >> even though all of that is true and even though debates really matter. i think in this environment if it's a close election, annuity hanewt hasmuch more bag. >> charlie: and obama has so much money to use. >> it's interestingn the end
if barack obama's number where he is today, he can't win a general election. his numbers have to rise a little bit in order for him to win no matter who he's running against. i think they want newt gingrich. they didot expect it. >> charlie: here's another one for you. a long time ago during a republican debate you and i spend some time together and we both said, this idea that republicans have to have a narrative that makes sure that they understand 99 and one if it was shorthand for this. they understand some of the anger in the country which is about fairness, it's unfair to ba out the banks and not bail otheout other people. it's unfair some people were take i care of and others weren't. if there's somehow in the system a fairness and that that has to be spoken to. you said that, remember that. >> yes, i remember that. >> charlie: obama's trying to speak to it now and speak to it this week, trying to identify
with teddy roosevelt. >> yes, he's trying to adopt a much more popular strategy, a. more popular sort of narrative. >> charlie: it's not way at the popular narrative it's much more of a cool popular narrative. >> yes. the president has th. it doesn't seem natural toim. he's not a fiery speaker. he's not like a lets go get them. he had that dec difficulty whene ran against hillary clinton. she's much better with that populous narrative. he's got that difficult. it's also difficult to run the incumbent president of the united states with that narrative. >> charlie: because you have time to change. >> yes. and it's usually about change. the populous is about throw these people out they haven't served us well. throw them out. he's trying to adopt them. it's interesting to see if newt gingch or mitt romney, it's probably easier for newt gingrich to adapt that than mitt romney because of his personality and stands on certain issue. mitt romney investment banker very cool not like that, not a fire brand. i think it's easier for newt
gingrich to do that. but i think newt gingrich, the person that could defeat newt gingrich is newt gingrich in this race. >> charlie: if that person doesn't do that he could win the presidency. >> he could win the nomination and i think right now we've gone last week to the odds on that mitt romney, theodds right now today that newt gingrich wins the know nation. >> charlie: do you think the odds are newt gingrich is the next president as you simply speculate as obviously a thousand things can happen. >> i don't know because i think three things can happen. first the economy, where it stands and if it rises at all going in the election. if there's any wind in the president's back it's hard to -- >> charlie: a little bit of the tweak. >> a little bit but we don't know if that's temporary because people are disillusioned and dropped out. that's the question that then affects his approval numbers. the other question is, is whether or not newt can sustain this, the power and the momentum and the thing behind it or whether or not he just becomes he's just an old part of the washington establishment. he's just an old part of that. he's really, he made money off
the system and in the end it's like we'd rather have an incumbent that we know rather than somebody who made money off the system. i don't know the answer to that. another thing that could happen is a third party could run. i don't think it's out of the question a third party could not win but run. if a third party runs -- >> charlie: they can get on the ballot because all of the things. >> and the americas elected put together. who that person is i have no idea. charlie: how they choose their ninee is difficult to understandow one person could command that. >> the difficulty as you could see a third party winning the popular vote. it's very difficult to see the third party winning the electoral vote. you need enough states for the electoral vote. i think that helps barack obama. i think it's 70/30 that newt gingrich wins the nomination. it's 50/50 on the presidential race. >> charlie: where is george w. bush in all this? >> he's having a good time at his place in dallas on his ranch in crawford. >> charlie: building his
library and all that. >> doingall that andgiving eeches. i think he likes being o of this. >> charlie: does he care about this. >> i think he cares about the country obviously. >> charlie: i'm not talking about the country do he care about republican politics. is it something to be marched in order to be the nominee as his father might have felt too. >> he's never been a guy that's involved in the republican party. i've got to make sure this congressman win, i got to make sure had had senator wins. i think he would like a republican-elected president but i don't think he'll lose sleep at night. >> charlie: does he care about having influence? >> i don't think he does care about having influence. i actually think he can have as much influence with a democrat as he can with a republican. because as clinton did with his father, when you ve a pairing of a republican and democrat and you do certain things whether it's internationally. other stuff you do, it has a lot of power. times if a republican's elected, george w. bush is the guy that was old and he's done and there's no point in ping
attention to them. if back obama wins the last republican to win was george w. bush i think he would raft see - rather see a reblican win, i don't think i cares that much. >> charlie:what about carl. >> he's the less investigate vee republicans. my sense is he would like to see mitt romney nominated. i get the sense by what he said. >> charlie: there's only two choices essentially for people like that today. today. >> right, today. absolutely true. i think carl cares about winning borrow he mainly cares about it for winning and that's some ideological sense. i mean carl -- >> charlie: was it always that way. >> i think it's probably always been that way. >> charlie: you were part of this idea. you bought into it big time. >> yes, i did. >> charlie: you bought into it big time. >> the democrat is the -- . >> charlie: compassionate conservativism and george bush could change the world.
>> absolutely and change washington along with other people. as you know that's when my break happened over that in the aftermath of 2004 when we didn't do that. we started doing it and we abandoned it. >> charlie: have i forgiven you for this? >> i think there's some people that are still friend with me. >> charlie: i'm talking about the presiden >> i have not talked tohe president since thatappened. and carl -- >> charlie: are you surprised by that? >> no. >> charlie: have you reached out? have you written a leer saying mr. president i understand why you made e decision, i admired you and i did this because. >> i sort of abide by the thing maybe time heals all wounds. >> charlie: you're waiting for a phone call. >> i'm not expecting that from a former president. >> charlie don't stand by your phone. no, no, i would nevada expect tha --never expect that. carl i don't expect that. i've run into carl a few times. >> charlie: what's it like? >> it's exceptiall exceptionalls
the best way i could see it. carl pbably wouldn't use the world cool at all. >> charlie: but betrayal. >> i don't know if he would use that worth because there were a lot of things i said i said internally. and it's not like when i went into public i say it all internally. but i don't think he. >> charlie: you don't go out looking for a republican opponent. >> i didn't go write a book and say i'm going to make money off this or a bunch of media tours. >> charlie: you just spoke your mind. >> yes, i did. >> charlie: as i remember. >> yes. a lot of people remember. >> charlie: it was the first beginning of sort of areak. >> yes, i was the fir one on it. part of it h to do with my son who was in iraq and was in harm's way and watching all of that unfold but it had to do inly with the idea we were gointo change washington and we made it more polarized. >> charl: happens the president done the same thing. >> i think this president got elected for e exact same reason as george w. bush got
elected for 2000 terestingly enough. one republican and one democrat got elected for the exact same reas that washington was dysfunctional and washington's device washington is polarized we've got to fix it and bring it together and theyhaven't done that. they have a temporomandilar se -- tendency to blamerepublic. the guy sits in the oval hofs -- it's a very bitter fight. >> charlie: should he anticipated that. >> i think he should v i think he should have decided he was president of the people and not president of his party. i think that's what he got elected to be like george bush got to be elected of the country and not president of the party. had he chose a divisive way to accomplish this. i think they lost site of the fact what people want are the ends of the means and change would be good. congress concentrates on the means of governing and not on the ends of governng. >> charlie: has the anger of
george w. bush and 9 war the wad that over time the soldiers are coming home and nobody really knows in the end how long tt's going to play itself out. >> i think the anger -- >> charlie: we n't know yet. >> i think e intense anger towards george w. bush has dissiped. he's still not very popular he's popular among republicans. if he wanted to endorse somebody in this process it would be a big advantage to that person. he's still notpopular among the dependents and democrats still don't like him. d the intense anger that cause people to show up and start voting before the poll even opened in 2006 and 2008 i think these dissipated. charlie one of thehings you have to gi george w. credit for is how he's conducted himself. he has stayed back he hasn't criticize the the present he hasn't engaged on that. i think he's conducted himself very well in this process 123450eu6789 whe.>> charlie: wt the country, where do you think the country is today. clearly we had an economic collapse. and so previous president georg
bush and this president tried to deal with it and the congress, healthcare came top of that. what's the mood of the cntry? how do you -- >> i think you're a student of history. to me we're at one of those pivot points that happens 75 to 80 years in the history of our country. en you think about 75 or 80 years ago we were on the great depression on the way to world war ii. 75 to 80 years before that we were in the civil war and moving from an agrarian sold to industrial-based society. 70 years before that we were ju established the first real democracy the real democracy in the modern era in the revolutionary war and we're moving in a changing economy. we're at that time. we're also at a time where people have lost faith in all the major institutions in society. they don't trust the media they don't think they get all the answers, democrats or berals and conservatives like another and people in theilgt don't -- w where to turn. they don't know why katrina
happened and use congress can't get it in order. it used to be you would say i'm going to work here for 30 years -- >> charlie: it the financial sector or corporate institutions throughout. >> i think it's corporate institutions throughout. it started with enron but then it's people like get laid off and they lose their healthcare. they don't know what their pensions are. all of that stuff is related to corporate america. >> charlie: it's not small siness it's big business. >> it's big business. they've lost faith in their political institutions. we're at a timewhen both political parties are at an all time low. usually one falls one rises and one falls and one rises. that has created the tremendous anxiety and tremendous unconnectedness. people are looking to bring together common bounds. they want somebody that speaks to a shared sense of sacrifice because they neal disconnected from each -- neal disconnected from peach other. they're searching for that answer and authenticity.
searching for somebody to bring them together and they say here's the promised land. you don't have to have all the answers but here's we're goin 're not going back to the way we wer here. i think somebody's going to have to say you have to reild the in substitutions in aifferent way to meet people's needs. nobody right now is going to do that. and we are at a time when every other time this happened, somebody stood up andaid i have to rebuild the instooksz as thein--substitutionininstitutio. nobody is willing to do that. i think that's really in the end what the country wants. >> charlie: if you look and the nominee is newt gingrich and the president, understanding the anger whatever it is that, what is it about him that makes him people angry at him. >> at the president. >> charlie: because he had pretty high approval relatively personally. >> yes. he's got, because people like him personally. they think he's got a great family. he's got the way the whitehouse the cture looks.
he's a great family man. i think it's the fact that he inherited this economy, which i think everybody ill says he didn't cause this. and then -- >> charlie: theargument he caused it e argument is he had an opportunitto fix the and he didn't. >> the country is you've had two years now you're going to ha three years and you're going to have almost four years we don't see any light at the end of the tunnel 67. tell us what your vision is how we're going to laid out. he hasn't laid out a vision how we're going get there. he defaults and sort of starts the convsation and says it and then he defaults into the old sort of i'm right you're wrong democrats are good republicans are bad. they're going to take away your entitlements and all that. so i think that's where his fault is. wh he soars, when his speech soars and he sort of gets past the democrat language that's when the independentents like him. he's in a difficult spot. he inherited this economy it's now his economy.
and it's now his wards. o now his wars. afghanistan is his, iraqi' iraq. >> charlie: i think there are some who voted for him that perhaps inexperience has played a role here and that therefore if you look at economic policy, the absence of experience in washington, the absence of experience in dealing with the kinds of economic issues we faced has shown itself. >> i actually, i actually believe the opposite, actually. i actually think what h did wrong was put in th whitehouse a bunch of people that were this sort of old style politicians, the old style, they were old clinton people. and he didn't bring in sort of the business. >> charlie: go ahead. i don't think that's necessary but go ahead. i think that's part of it too. i think that's an argument being made out there that he chose the wrong people to be surrounded.
but if you aue who would those people who say he chose the wrong people have recommended, most of the people o make that argument think it should have been not business aders but it should have been sort of more populist. >> when i mean business i don't mean going to wall street and pick somebody out of wall street. i'm talking about jack welsh or something who remade a company and says i'm not really a corporate guy i'm sort of a fix it and i know how to adapt to the 21st century. i think somebody knew can do this but i think they're going to have to be willing to take on their own party. president bush in the even wasn't willing to do it. president obama hasn't been willing to take on their own party and bring the country together. it doesn't matter your experience level. >> charlie: what would it mean to take on the party. >> he has to say listen it's not in the country's interest for me to be gal vajt aroun gallivantie cotry to make sure i defeat this republican my interestis how do i build relationships
across the aisle that have depth. >> charlie: there was a comment written about him that he make an argument for a strong position for a strong investment in our future. and the others are arguing attack attackattack. >> well the tng that i think bill clion that y have to give him credit for that george w. bush did n do a good job with, and barack obama, will clinton believes in indepartment relationships. he says i'm going to get along with this person bring them on air force one and bring them to the whitehouse. until somebody got mad at somebody. until the fighting broke out. but the last two presidents have not done that. it's all been transactional so they'll talk to a republican only when you need a vote, not in anticipation of meeting. >> charlie: not the ronald reagan tip o'neill. >> the social part of the power of the presidency is the most fundamental thin that they can
utilize and neither of the last two presidents have utilized the social power of presidency. >> charlie: i think that's very true but at the same time there's a basic argument do you in a sense try to say we need to wo together or do you say look i tried to do the right thing, these guys are not good for america. you really take it to the position to e coress and to the opposition. that's the dilemma the president faces. >> well he faces that dilemma today. he didn't face that dilemma when he first got elected to office. and so that's been a self inflicted wound of the president of this president because he could have done that when he was at 67, 68%. >> charlie: he was advising the esident -- >> as you know he called me after the midterm electns and i met with him at the oval office the president. i d known him. we had had a few conversations before that. >> charlie: when you were a democrat. >> after i left bush. some people got to know etch a h other. i sat down with him for an hour in the oval just he and i to talk about that. >> charlie: talk about what.
>> i thought it wa very a sort of courageous thing to reach out to somebody like a forme bush straight gist. they didn'tort of announce it and say look at what i'm doing. he wanted to know where he messed up and what i thought he could do. i had that conversation with him. not just everything i said or whatever i think he realized the mid terms were as a result of some b decisions he made. the same thing i said publicly, i told him that i thought he needed to focus on the means of governing and not on the end. too many people say we got healthcare. we did this, why didn't anybody love us. in the enthalpy pul end, peoples of the means. >> charlie: the end has to do with the role money has in politics. >> it' more fixing the means when you have political catal use your political capital not to accomplish an ideif end but e your political capital to build
a relationship, first to establish a level of trust in government. people forget long before fdr established a series of programs at he did, the first things that he did in office he realizes people didn't trust government. soe did a series of things to reestablish trust in government fore he asked government to do more the president a trusting government's low and thehe said the government should do more of what it's notood at. until he needed to fix that and thatight now is not something you fix in the middle of the politicacampaign. >> charlie: what is your assessment of the man you spent your hour with. how is he different from what you expect. >> he lost a lot of weight stins the las --since the last time im and he was much older as the presidents get. he still has a lot of energy. one thing i think you have to give him a lot of credit for is he listens. it's not somebody saying i'm going to do this photo up. he listens to people he respects to make political points. i think he understood thoh he wasn't, most presidents are willing to say i made a mistake. i got the sense that he knew that. he never said oh i messed up,
tell me where i messed up. but i got th sensef that and i got the sense he knew some things h to change. but wh you're in that oval ofce a it's already when you campaign at that level but appears you get into the oval office it becomes such an increased intense bubble in your ability to talk to people outside of that. i don't think there was a buh of people that say don't call matthew and do it. i think he realized that that bubble gets so constricted you have a hard tim getting real advice other than saying charlie you've got a great tie on today, charlie your hair looks great which happens a lot of and is outstanding which everybody knows it's not outstanding and that's part of the problem. >> charlie: bill clinton i heard him say this three times now. his new line is i've gotten old enough so that i'm willing to admit i don't know and i'm willing to acknowledge my mistakes. that's what he said. >> the people that are the most powerful and the strong else are the people that are willing to recognize their own weaknesses and make a mistake. much contrary to what people
give political advice. people say you can't admit a mistake. bill clinton figured out when you make a mistake people think you're stronger. >> charlie: that's exactly why republicans are saying we are apologizing for america and made mtake here. that's one of the lines of attack from people like gingrich and romney. >> what the president has done our level of popularity and our level of respect around the world is higher than it's been in 20 years. >> charlie: that's because of presidenobama. >> that's because of president obama. you have to give him that credit. first of all the people around the world said wow, america elected an african american president with the name barack obama something's changed. and then he's gone out of his way to not sort of say my wayr the highway. he doesn't have ev language. he hasn't done any of at language. it's not going to help him in the election at paul. it will probably hurt him. he established a lel of respt around the world that he didn't have when he came into office. >>harlie: your republican friend are rolling over now to hear youay this.
>> i think they, you know, if anything if this was truth serum and we sat around the table. they would say the act sam thing. >> charlie: that's interesting you believe most of the smart people you know in your party. are you a republican now. >> i'm fiercely independent. i was a democrat, i was a republican nobody would have me. i'm like the guy -- >> charlie: you're like mitt romney. >> i don't have a country, i'm mud. >> charlie: suppose somebody comes along like whoever it might be, maybe it's kevin -- and says this is the time to run independent and he with a need some people. would you, would you rally around the flag. >> i'd listen. i would give it pause and honestly i would hope it would be a woman. the next candidate i would like to work for and i haven't done a race since i did the raffle governor's race in 2006, i haven't done a race since i got out of it. the next race i would like to do is elect a woman president of the united states that has some level of business background but is a strong woman.
that to me is afascinating race. >> charlie: what doons tooth that will be in 2016 with hillary clinton. >> i don't know if it's as a result of this race and wt goes on out there. i don't know if it would be her. to my idea it has to be some woman -- hillary clinton won't be able to i abt the country together. i think it need to be somebody with a political background b a woman who can speak to the concerns. what the country is looking for is actually a maternal figure that can bring people around the dinner table and say no, you stop talking, no no give him some of your dinner. that's what the country's looking for. do i have to. i think a woman more than, a powerful woman more than anything else. if you wanted to get me out of retirement and do it, that would be the candidate, the type of candidate. >> charlie: that's a great question. thank you for coming. >> great to see you charlie. thank you. >> charlie: we turn tonight
to the crises in syria, the u.n. statements that the nine month long uprising has claimed more than 4,000 lives. this week more than 60 bodies were found in the city of homes which has been at the center of the uprising. syrian activist said many of the victims bore sig of torture. despite growing condemn nation and sanctions from the international communi the assad regem has shown no signs of easing its crack down. the government has banned most foreign journalists. joining me now is clarissa ward of cba news. she's a foreign correspondent there. she managed to enter the country as a tourist. here's a look at someof her reporting. >> he's a is an opposition actid does not wanto use her al name. the opposition knows who she is. she's in hiding to avoid arrest. are you scared i i am not but we have to continue. this is what we have been dreaming of long time ago.
>> she took us to the damascus suburb of duma to the funeral rove a6 year old boy these people say were shot by security forces that protested the day before. men and women poured in by the hundreds, their grief pinged with defiance. >> thi is real syria, okay. if you come, you will see real bodies. they are not false. they are not toys. they are real bodies. >> they want international military support. and they say they will not give up their protest until president assad re regime lls. a military helicopter circled overhead but the chanting only grew stronger. here mostful and they are shooting us they shouted. we want freedom. >> charlie: pleased to have clarissa ward at this table. well km. -- welcome. we noteth beijing. >> indeed. >> charlie: before that you
were in moscow and now you're with cbs news in co kabul. >> yes. >> charlie: how can you get into syria when they say no german else. >> i was very fortunate. i think luck played a role in it. i went to a small middle eastern country that i think it's better if i don't name. i went into the senior embassy - syrian embassy there. i had a backpack and had hippie-styled clothing and a guide book. and i played the role of a young travel. i was fortunate enough i have a british passport and i had no journalism stamps, no israeli stamps. so i applied for the visa and i was able to get it. >> charlie: so then you went to damascus. >> then i went to beirut. unfortunately my colleague who i was hoping to travel with did not get the visa. so then there came this kind of decision crunch time where i had to basically say well am i willing to go on my own. and i just felt it was
impossle to silt on sit on a sn visa and then i went on my own from beirut to damascus. >> charlie: you were concerned in the beginning they might be following you so you don't want to see you're a reporter in search of story. >> everybody i have spoken took all the experts i knew on the region said you will definitely even if you're going as a tourist, you will be followed. so for the first two days, my main priority was to try to ascertain when i was being followed. and pele had giv me all these tips of ways to know you're being followed when you're sitting in a restaurant anyou're peering over your guidebook, do any of the customers look like the same people in the restaurant you ate thnight before. because i was staying in the old city and it's kind of with old roads back there, you can tell pretty quickly if someone's following you. for someone reason i was very fortune. i disdiscovered early on no one
seemed to be following me and that's when i reached out to the activists. >> charlie: how did you do that. did you know them from prior contacts. >> i was given the contact of someone based in washington d.c. and it seems to me the way, they worked almost in a structure. you start off by talking to somebody in d.c. or perhaps london they put you in tch with someone else. then that person puts you in touch with someone in syria and then you get put in touch with someone in damascus. you are kind of working your day down the to d fd chain. most of it is done skype because it's impossible to have conversations over the phone or e-mail. >> charlie: what were their concerns when you met them. >> their concerns wa being folled. two other germannists and one britt i journalist had been arrested a month before i went in. they had all sorts of incriminating videos they shot of activists who they intended
afterwards to blur out their faces. when they were rested they didn't have a chance to do tt yet. i made it very clear from the beginning i'm not going t shoot a fing frame with anyone's face in it. every inch of you i did was from the neck down so that even if i was arrested, there would be nothing on the tain o tape or te memory card that wld be incriminating. i had a memory card with me always that had tourist photographs on it and i would constantly switch the memory cards back and forth so if i did get lled over i would like like a regular tourist. >> charlie: when were you fearful that perhaps you are might be discovered. >> without a doubt the most petrifyimoment of the trip was when i went out to damascus they said you need to put a blind fold on you now. my heart was literally pounding.
i arrived at the safe house and i would say a group of a dozen or so men there with all sorts of machinery and guns, some rpgs, grenades. so i was very very concerned during that time in that safe house simply because i was the frightened of the men who i was with persa per se because i kney had nonterest in hurting a journalist who was going to tell a story. i knew these were the most wanted men by the assad security forces. it's waiting for the moment the door would be suddenly kicked in. i knew it would be a case of some officers coming in and saying can i see your papers, can it be a raid and it's going to b very ugly. so there was definitely the most frightening time. >> charlie: what's the story they want to tell? >> it's so amazing. the intensity of their appetite just to be able to speak their minds. i've never seen anything like
that. i mean obviously the primary objective right now is for the removal of president assad's rear gime. but more than that, this is really about people wanting to be able to speak without being afraid and it sound like such a simple thing here in the u.s. we take it for granted but for these senior people who i met, after 40 years of the outside rule there's this deepity inained fear. the's an appetite one young man i spo to, he said i just want, the neighbo main thing i s to be ab to speak my mind without beingfraid. >> charlie: take a look at this. th is a clip from aeries of reports that have been on the cbevening news reported by clarissa. we'll show you this and a couple re before we leave this evening. roll tape. >> just outside of damascus ... people ... every single night
are demanding ... these protesters had really seen reporters from outside the cotry. they handed us notes. we don't shed tears for the martyrs. >> charlie: once you begin, was there much communication within the people part of the rebellion and uprising among each other to say we've given r the stamp of aroval and now you should give her other access to other people. >> absolutely. i was dispatched out every day to a different activist to see a different thing. there was definitely an understanding among this network that i was a journalist from the outside it was very important that i be able to see the story so to speak. one thing i found very interesting was how little these activists know about each other. and they do that of course for
security reasons and so this is him and where does he live. i don't know because if i was arrested and i was tortured i don't nt to have any information i would be able to give them. that's the assumption they're operating under. >> charlie: have most of them been touched in some wayby somebody i kne having been killed or injured or arrested. >> every singleperson i met had a storyither about a former colleague or a family member or a friend who has either been beaten or injured or arrested in some cases, even killed. but certainly every single person i spoke to. and the people i was dealing with is not just the case can you avoid arrest. they've been fired from your job for saying somethi slightly offhand, exactly. some of them can't even see their families because they're trying to protect them. mented they live in a constant state of fear and hiding.
>> charlie: here's another reporting by clarissa ward. >> what is your message to president assad. >> leave noefore you know you will leave in the end but with e sufferings of the people. so just leave and leave us to tar our new future, our new country. you got enough of our blood. >> charlie: the courage is overwhelming to me and to you and to people who know of the fear they live in and what's haened that y moment they could be discovered. >> it's unbelievable. i interviewed a young man who was shot three files at a protest that he pa temporomandibularre -- attended. he can't get medical treatment because it's a complication. when you're able to work again what do you want to do.
he's like i'm going to be right back out on the street. there's no question. >> charlie: where does that come from, just the sense of the deep thirst for freedom. >> it's a deep thirst for freedom and i think they're finally tasting it after 40 years. suddenly there's a taste of wait this might actually be possible. we can really do this if we do it together. and once you have that taste, there's no way of going back. >> charlie: this is great reporting. pull that back and tell me some analysis of what you have seen in terms of will there be an all out civil war. is that what they call it right now. what are their chances of prevailing. do they believe it will be over in six monthsthat kind thin >> i think in terms of the civil war question the role of the free syrian army has rely complicated th opposition landscape. most activists i spoke to are agreed on the importance of their role in terms of protecting people at those protests. but who are they held
accountable to. who do they answer to. what kind of raise, if any, should they be carrying out on syrian secity forces. and what happens if this volution is successful and you have a new government in place and then you have these armed militia just are roaming around. they're keen to debunk the idea of civil war because civil war has strong sectarian associations with it. and they're very keen to stress that you knowhat, we are christians in this group. we are sunni, so i think they are keen to avoid any thank you about a simple war. certainly there are so many problems facing them. they don't yet really have a fully coherent political structure within the opposition. but syrian national council which is essentially getting together of groups. i think there needs to be a
great deal of progres on that front. with any syrian national counci there's a dispute do we want foreign military. >> charlie: tell me about the dispute because my question as you were talking was do they want to see for them what happed in libya or not. >> honestly it depends on who you talk to. if you talk to members ofhe free syrian army, yes that is what they keep saying over and ov again. >> chaie: where is the west. >> where is the west, where is our international no fly zone that's what they want. >> charlie: why libya not us. >> exactly. but if you talk to some ofthe more let's say cerebral allege vices who ar --activists who han activists for a long time, they are very concerned about t implications of foreign intervention. they believe strongly the whole power the moral power of their releuks was the fact he was a peaceful revolution. there's great concern that perhaps that peaceful revolution has already been hijacked. >> charlie: how do they assess the strength and the will of assad?
>> it's very funny when you thank you to most of the activists. they consider him out be a joke. they call him a kid. they very much believe he's not in control. his father of course was a different story and ruled with an iron fist. but they believe it's assad, the father's cronies are now running the country and assad is simply a puppet. there's no question in their minds and most in the minds of the people i talked to outside of the country as well, it isn untenable situation for assad to stay in power. at some point he clearly has to leave. there's such a huge disparity between what he's talking about and betwn wh i saw on th ground. >> charlie: each day becomes more difficult to leave. >> of course. >> charlie: the options to leave as it did for qaddafi shrink. >> solutely, absolutely. at this stage he's almost committed himself to staying until death. >> charlie: the die has been
cast. >> exactly. >> charlie: that is an interview barbara walters to her credit, she got the remarkable opportunity to go this week and interview assad and here is a portion of that interview, courtesy of abc news. >> do you think that your forces tracd down -- >> they are not my forces. they are military forces that belong to the government. i don't own them. i'm president. i don't own the country >> charlie: no but you have to give the order. >> no, no,. >> note not by your command. >> no, no command. there was no command to kill or to be brutal. >> people went from houses to houses. children were arrested. i saw those pictures. >> we don't see this. it does not depend onhat you hear. >> i saw reporters who brought back pictures. >> how did you verify those
ctures. that's why we are talking about false allegations of reality. >> what do you think is the biggest misconception that my country has ofhat's happening here if indeed there is a misconception. >> we don't kill oureople. no government in the world kill its people unless it's led by radical. as president i became president because of public support. it's impossible for anyone in this state to give order to kill. >> charl: what do you think of that. >> you know, everything he is saying is just diametrically oppod to everything that i found for my reporting on the ground. and obviously the people i was talking to are primarily activis and opposition activists and that needs to be taken into consideration. but there seems to be a level of denial there that jt defies beef. >> charlie: nd the pressure continues and gets tighter and tighter, are the turks, the arab
league. evybody is now coming to the front to say you have to go. >> absolutely. and i think one thing at most of the activists and opposition are united on, they may have different ideas about wheer or not there should be foreign military intervention but this idea of a humanitarian corridor of some ki of a buffer zo so there is some place where syrians can go and not be fearing for their life thehole me. i think that's something that everybody i spoke to was very interested in. >> charlie: so here in new york to present these reports on cbs evening news, you gback to kabul. >> i go back to kabul tomorrow morning. >> charlie: thank you for coming. >> thank you. charlie: good to see you. captioning sponsored by rose communications captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org